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Source: (consider it) Thread: What should we do about 'our own' terrorists?
mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
It's also a simple fact that the NT writers would have abhorred such actions as crusades for obvious reasons.

That's sort-of besides the point - given that none of us have a direct line to the Apostles, determining what they would have thought about anything is an interpretation.

quote:
No apostle advanced social action or political or military power to advance the gospel and this only happened many centuries after the NT era when the church was thoroughly corrupt.
You know this isn't an argument, right? This is just "the church has been thoroughly corrupted until it recently came around to my way of thinking".

Also, once again, it's irrelevant. The question is not whether one can make a theological argument that the crusades were wrong (of course I believe one can, given that I'm a pacifist) the question is whether those who believed in war were proper Christians.

It astounds me the levels to which people make excuses. They weren't proper Christians, they didn't read the bible enough, they didn't have a valid hermeneutic, the church was corrupted.

A simpler explanation is that they were proper Christians and they understood the scriptures within a context of state religion and warfare.

quote:
Consequently, it's a safe bet that 'proper' Christians were few and far between at the time of Charlemagne. The medieval Papal church did not need any hermeneutic beyond its own authority.
You don't even recognise that this is a circular argument, do you? I give up.

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chris stiles
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[The original claim that started this particular thread was that "a christian terrorist would have to be quite an heterodox Christian".]

quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
No, my point is that readings of NT passages can be more or less credible on grammatical-historical principles of interpretation.

and again, as a number of people have pointed out, there is no universal consensus that this should be primary principle by which a text should be interpreted - it isn't even universal among the writers of the NT.

quote:

The epistemological relativism (or nihilism) which says that any statement can mean anything or everything, and therefore nothing, might amuse and impress undergraduates doing literary theory courses, b ut no-one else takes it seriously

[Roll Eyes] This has nothing to do with a purely intellectual exercise, or attempting to find a specious excuse for a particular set of behaviours. Christians in the past coming to the text with fear, trembling and reverence, and believing the work of interpretation to have eternal bearing, have nonetheless come to conclusions that are different to the ones that you come to.
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Jamat
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quote:
You don't even recognise that this is a circular argument, do you? I give up.
You probably should since you are in the strange little bubble that seems to argue that despite scripture being quite definitive on apostolic opinion, we can only doubt that they believed what they definitively wrote. Yep, give up.

If the argument is what is a proper Christian, which is a term I would not choose, then be my quest, define it. If you think the term can be validly used for any kind of behaviour legitimised by the medieval church then that is risible.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
It's a simple fact that proper Christians justified their crusades with reference to the bible. It is only you who seem to be wanting to claim that they lacked a viable hermeneutic because you disagree with i
It's also a simple fact that the NT writers would have abhorred such actions as crusades for obvious reasons. No apostle advanced social action or political or military power to advance the gospel and this only happened many centuries after the NT era when the church was thoroughly corrupt. Consequently, it's a safe bet that 'proper' Christians were few and far between at the time of Charlemagne. The medieval Papal church did not need any hermeneutic beyond its own authority.
So the apostles didn't endorse God's assassination of Herod Agrippa by biological warfare? Or the Holy Spirit's hits on Ananias and Sapphira? Or the use of two hundred Roman infantry, two hundred spearmen and seventy cavalrymen to defend Paul? Let alone the looming massacre of humanity you look forward to in your flat, literal, cookbook, a-contextual, chilialist interpretation of Revelation.

[ 10. July 2017, 09:55: Message edited by: Martin60 ]

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
You probably should since you are in the strange little bubble that seems to argue that despite scripture being quite definitive on apostolic opinion, we can only doubt that they believed what they definitively wrote. Yep, give up.

If the argument is what is a proper Christian, which is a term I would not choose, then be my quest, define it. If you think the term can be validly used for any kind of behaviour legitimised by the medieval church then that is risible.

It seems to me that there is an effort amongst some to claim that violence is a normal and standard interpretation of various religions including Islam but somehow abnormal when talking about Christianity.

And then we have claims about how violence is not justified obviously - because of "hermeneutical principles" and "because the apostles obviously didn't believe in it".

It is just an effort to claim that the only real and proper Christians are those you says are real and proper Christians. And which handily means you can disown violence perpetuated by Christians.

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Gamaliel
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The point, of course, whether we like it or not, is that Charlemagne would have probably considered his actions completely in line with Romans 13:4 and so would most of his contemporaries I suspect.

Why? Because they didn't have a proper hermeneutic? Because they were part of a nasty, corrupt medieval Church?

Or was it simply because they lived when they did and that's how people thought. We have no idea whatsoever whether the Apostle Paul would have agreed with Charlemagne or not because the Apostle Paul lived in the first century not the 9th century.

We have no idea whatsoever whether Paul would have agreed or disagreed, because he was writing about a completely different context, pagan rulers rather than some kind of Christianised state, a situation that couldn't have been envisaged in the 1st century as the Christian movement had yet to attain critical mass.

On balance, I suspect he'd have disagreed but I say that not on the basis of proof-texts but because he was expecting the imminent end of the world most of the time and also because it fits my own bias and world-view for him not to have done.

I submit that this is the real reason that Kaplan and Jamat object to the idea too - because they are approaching the issue in the same way as I am - and the rest of us are - as post-Enlightenment, 21st century people not as Charlemagne did as an 8th or 9th century Frankish king with imperial ambitions and pretensions.

We are all of us projecting our own values and presuppositions here.

At least some of us are aware of that and aren't pretending we're going by the naked text or the plain-meaning of scripture.

Yes, I believe that Charlemagne's actions are incompatible and not at all commensurate with the overall thrust and tenor of the NT. But I can only say that because I live here in the 21st century and not in 8th or 9th century France.

Sure, it's not just evangelical Protestants who have an issue with Charlemagne. He's a baddy as far as most of the Orthodox are concerned because he tried to revive the Western Empire as a rival to the Byzantines and had a lot to do with what they see as the development of an overweening Papacy.

The irony, of course, is that some of those Orthodox who are the most critical of Charlemagne and those nasty, evil Popish Franks wouldn't be anywhere near as critical of Ivan the Terrible or of various cut-throat Byzantine emperors ...

But however we cut it, our shared repugnance at the actions of medieval rulers like Charlemagne is based on a lot more than simply thinking he didn't do enough Bible study or that his hermeneutic was wonky.

I really don't understand why we have to be so anachronistic as to suppose that Charlemagne was doing any other than acting in consistency with the prevailing world-view of his time. That doesn't condone or justify it, of course.

But neither is it to say, 'Look, I've got a better hermeneutic and a clutch of proof-texts and that's all there is to it.'

Taking about Franks, I'm frankly surprised that Kaplan thinks it's as simplistic as that. We're entering Jamat territory again. The Forestry Commission approach to scripture. Wooden.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
It seems to me that there is an effort amongst some to claim that violence is a normal and standard interpretation of various religions including Islam but somehow abnormal when talking about Christianity.

Now we're exposing the subtext to this discussion.

The fact is that some people find it very threatening that a very strong case can be made for religious violence from the Koran, but that no valid argument at all for religious violence can be made from the NT, and therefore they fight tooth and nail, and perform the most amazing hermeneutical and exegetical gymnastics, in order to avoid the latter.


{QUOTE]It is just an effort to claim that the only real and proper Christians are those you says are real and proper Christians. And which handily means you can disown violence perpetuated by Christians. [/QUOTE]

Nope.

There is no problem at all in recognising and acepting that real religious violence has been perpetrated by real Christians, and at the same believing that they were wrong to do it and to think that they were right.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Now we're exposing the subtext to this discussion.

The fact is that some people find it very threatening that a very strong case can be made for religious violence from the Koran, but that no valid argument at all for religious violence can be made from the NT, and therefore they fight tooth and nail, and perform the most amazing hermeneutical and exegetical gymnastics, in order to avoid the latter.

Now we are exposing the bullshit in this discussion. When Christians use only the NT, your argument might have validity. But as of today, this is not true.

--------------------
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If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
I really don't understand why we have to be so anachronistic as to suppose that Charlemagne was doing any other than acting in consistency with the prevailing world-view of his time.

No-one (not I, at any rate) is suggesting otherwise.

So were RCs who burned Protestants and Jews, and Calvin when he burned Servetus.

But that worldview was wrong, and based on a wrong (conscious or unconscious) hermeneutic.

I am flabbergasted at your and Mr Cheesy's inability to keep two perfectly compatible concepts in your heads at the same time: first, that good history involves trying to get inside the heads of history's actors in an effort to understand why they acted as they did, but secondly, that good history can equally involve making intellectual and moral assessments of their weltanschauung (or zeitgeist).

It is not a matter of tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner, or of simplistic historical relativism.

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
It's a simple fact that proper Christians justified their crusades with reference to the bible. It is only you who seem to be wanting to claim that they lacked a viable hermeneutic because you disagree with i
It's also a simple fact that the NT writers would have abhorred such actions as crusades for obvious reasons. No apostle advanced social action or political or military power to advance the gospel and this only happened many centuries after the NT era when the church was thoroughly corrupt. Consequently, it's a safe bet that 'proper' Christians were few and far between at the time of Charlemagne. The medieval Papal church did not need any hermeneutic beyond its own authority.
So the apostles didn't endorse God's assassination of Herod Agrippa by biological warfare? Or the Holy Spirit's hits on Ananias and Sapphira? Or the use of two hundred Roman infantry, two hundred spearmen and seventy cavalrymen to defend Paul? Let alone
Ok Martin apples with apples?

Are we saying God's actions of judgement supernaturally engineered and recorded in scripture are the same as Man's acts of political aggression promoted by rapacious popes BECAUSE they are perpetrated falsely in God's name?

Did Paul insist on military protection from being torn apart by an angry Jewish mob or did the authorities of the time deem it wise?


quote:
the looming massacre of humanity you look forward to in your flat, literal, cookbook, a-contextual, chilialist interpretation of Revelation.
That is a beautiful piece of poetic fiction. I just had to enjoy it twice.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Now we're exposing the subtext to this discussion.

The fact is that some people find it very threatening that a very strong case can be made for religious violence from the Koran, but that no valid argument at all for religious violence can be made from the NT, and therefore they fight tooth and nail, and perform the most amazing hermeneutical and exegetical gymnastics, in order to avoid the latter.

Now we are exposing the bullshit in this discussion. When Christians use only the NT, your argument might have validity. But as of today, this is not true.
KC specifies the NT because Christ changed the rules regarding worship, obeying God and the necessity for observances. Ask any Jew if Christianity exists in the OT?
In the medieval period, the Catholic church and its popes claimed as they do now to be 'Vicarius Christus,' or acting in the place of Christ. Their supposed provenance came from the fiction of Peter as initial pope, a fabrication based entirely on a couple of New Testament verses badly exegeted. Consequently, you cannot with honesty, claim that papal conquests, crusades or persecutions or wars commanded at their behest or with their encouragement are merely a continuation of the OT ways of doing things.

--------------------
Jamat ..in utmost longditude, where Heaven
with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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Gamaliel
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I am constantly amazed at your apparent inability to read for comprehension, Kaplan.

What you are saying would be the case if either mr cheesy or myself were condoning or excusing Charlemagne, the Crusades or the medieval Popes.

Nowhere have we done so. We have both stated that we believe their actions to have been misguided, reprehensible and wrong.

The point I'm trying to make is that the kind of value judgement involved in that is based on a wider set of criteria than biblical exegesis taken in isolation - if such a thing were even possible.

Mr cheesy has stated that he is a pacifist. His pacifism will operate and be informed in a symbiotic relationship with his hermeneutic and his world-view more generally. Of course, you'd agree with that I'm sure. Mr cheesy is both a pacifist and a Christian. Other Christians are not pacifists in the way mr cheesy is.

All Christians have access to the same texts. Not all Christians have interpreted those texts in a way that leads them to adopt a pacifist position. Whatever else that tells us it tells us that there are other factors and criteria at play and that Christians come to different conclusions in good faith.

Evangelical Christians owned slaves. Other evangelical Christians campaigned to abolish slavery. Josiah Wedgwood was an abolitionist. He was also a Unitarian. What do we do? Condemn his Unitarianism or applaud his abolitionism?

If we applaud Calvin for his Trinitarian theology that doesn't mean we condone his role in the trial of Servetus.

We don't condemn the Apostle Paul - although some do - for his apparent acquiescence and acceptance of slavery as an institution - and I'd say the biblical evidence for Paul's position is ambiguous - but we approach and interpret the NT references to slavery in the context of the times. That doesn't mean we endorse or justify slavery - although there are some white Southern US fundagelicals who certainly do ...

The only point I'm making is that there's more going on than apparently straight forward exegesis.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:


But that worldview was wrong, and based on a wrong (conscious or unconscious) hermeneutic.

I am flabbergasted at your and Mr Cheesy's inability to keep two perfectly compatible concepts in your heads at the same time: first, that good history involves trying to get inside the heads of history's actors in an effort to understand why they acted as they did, but secondly, that good history can equally involve making intellectual and moral assessments of their weltanschauung (or zeitgeist).

My point is far more basic than you are suggesting - to wit that it is not only possible to have a "viable hermeneutic" that justifies violence, but that it is actually quite hard to make Christianity peaceful.

I would agree that the hermenutic is wrong. I don't accept that this is just because of my cultural baggage, although I do agree that my understanding of the scriptures has necessarily been affected by my culture and that those living in other eras were affected by theirs. I think my understanding of a peaceful Christianity is better than the violent crusader version.

But this isn't the point I was making, despite your continued efforts to make it so.

The point is that there are "viable hermeneutics" where Christians justify various kinds of violence. That it is entirely reasonable to believe the bible as scripture and hold those positions. That a bible-believing Christian is just as likely to be violent as a Koran-believing Muslim - and that there is a mirror image of the effort it takes to make Islam peaceful as to make Christianity peaceful.

quote:
It is not a matter of tout comprendre c'est tout pardonner, or of simplistic historical relativism.
I never said anything about relavitism as far as I know. I'm simply objecting to the ideas that you're expressing which suggest that yours is the only "viable hermeneutic" and that if those who engaged in the crusades had thought a bit harder they'd have come over to your point of view because it is plainly obvious that the scriptures are peaceful. They're not.

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Gamaliel
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I'm not sure anyone here is suggesting that those things are a legitimate continuation of the OT either, Jamat.

Again, it would be nice if people read for comprehension.

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Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by Martin60:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
It's a simple fact that proper Christians justified their crusades with reference to the bible. It is only you who seem to be wanting to claim that they lacked a viable hermeneutic because you disagree with i
It's also a simple fact that the NT writers would have abhorred such actions as crusades for obvious reasons. No apostle advanced social action or political or military power to advance the gospel and this only happened many centuries after the NT era when the church was thoroughly corrupt. Consequently, it's a safe bet that 'proper' Christians were few and far between at the time of Charlemagne. The medieval Papal church did not need any hermeneutic beyond its own authority.
So the apostles didn't endorse God's assassination of Herod Agrippa by biological warfare? Or the Holy Spirit's hits on Ananias and Sapphira? Or the use of two hundred Roman infantry, two hundred spearmen and seventy cavalrymen to defend Paul? Let alone
Ok Martin apples with apples?

Are we saying God's actions of judgement supernaturally engineered and recorded in scripture are the same as Man's acts of political aggression promoted by rapacious popes BECAUSE they are perpetrated falsely in God's name?

Did Paul insist on military protection from being torn apart by an angry Jewish mob or did the authorities of the time deem it wise?


quote:
the looming massacre of humanity you look forward to in your flat, literal, cookbook, a-contextual, chilialist interpretation of Revelation.
That is a beautiful piece of poetic fiction. I just had to enjoy it twice.

Which part?

We are saying that the attribution to God of political assassination is false. There was nothing supernatural about it.

Oranges.

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Love wins

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Huia
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quote:
Originally posted by simontoad:
How about criminals who clothe their insanity/personality disorder/general dissatisfaction with their place in the world by doing a Hakka before they commit an atrocity so as to identify themselves with the separatists on the South Island of New Zealand?

The word is haka and Kai Tahu the largest Iwi in Te Wai Pounamu (the largest 'tribe' in the South Island) have traditionally been the most peaceful - apart from that, the story you spin needs a taniwha, or two.(supernatural creatures like serpents or dragons)

And don't use the haka the All Blacks use, it is still forbidden on some Kai Tahu Marae because the writer massacred whole villages of people down here.

Huia

[ 11. July 2017, 07:39: Message edited by: Huia ]

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Charity gives food from the table, Justice gives a place at the table.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The point is that there are "viable hermeneutics" where Christians justify various kinds of violence. That it is entirely reasonable to believe the bible as scripture and hold those positions.

Absolutely.

But we are not talking about "various kinds of violence", but specifically about religious violence (ie the use of state violence by Christians to kill heretics and unbelievers) which is simply not taught in the NT.

Christians have done it, but only by betraying their religion.

That doesn't mean that that they weren't "really" Christians, but that in this particular at least, they got it wrong.

[ 11. July 2017, 10:19: Message edited by: Kaplan Corday ]

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quetzalcoatl
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So what was the theological justification for the crusades?

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no path

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The point is that there are "viable hermeneutics" where Christians justify various kinds of violence. That it is entirely reasonable to believe the bible as scripture and hold those positions.

Absolutely.

But we are not talking about "various kinds of violence", but specifically about religious violence (ie the use of state violence by Christians to kill heretics and unbelievers) which is simply not taught in the NT.

Christians have done it, but only by betraying their religion.

That doesn't mean that that they weren't "really" Christians, but that in this particular at least, they got it wrong.

So has God.

--------------------
Love wins

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
Absolutely.

Good, so we're agreed that your comments previously about viable hermeneutics were completely wrong.

quote:
But we are not talking about "various kinds of violence", but specifically about religious violence (ie the use of state violence by Christians to kill heretics and unbelievers) which is simply not taught in the NT.
I'm not sure we were talking about that in particular, but let's run with it.

If you have an hermeneutic that says Jesus is a "greater than you can possibly imagine" version of Joshua (which isn't really so hard to do), then it isn't really too much of a leap to imagine that the Kingdom he was bringing in was a perfect version of the state described in Judges. And then it isn't too difficult to see oneself as needing to act as the state the violence implicit in the system.

I don't actually think it is so hard to incorporate the New Testament into this way of thinking and don't really see that it requires much shoehorning. If you read the gospels in the light of Joshua, you might get the idea that the new Kingdom to be established is indeed one where the heretics are burned and opposition is destroyed. And it isn't really so hard to see the peaceful message of Christ in terms of the afterlife and personal devotion.

It's a viable hermeneutic. Just saying you don't like it doesn't make it disappear in a puff of logic.

quote:
Christians have done it, but only by betraying their religion.
Nope.

quote:
That doesn't mean that that they weren't "really" Christians, but that in this particular at least, they got it wrong.
That's a different thing.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Martin60
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Excellent. First class.

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Love wins

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
The point is that there are "viable hermeneutics" where Christians justify various kinds of violence. That it is entirely reasonable to believe the bible as scripture and hold those positions.

Absolutely.

But we are not talking about "various kinds of violence", but specifically about religious violence (ie the use of state violence by Christians to kill heretics and unbelievers) which is simply not taught in the NT.

Christians have done it, but only by betraying their religion.

That doesn't mean that that they weren't "really" Christians, but that in this particular at least, they got it wrong.

Yes, they got it wrong.

But at the risk of being accused of relativism, they got it wrong for entirely different reasons for those you've cited.

Arguably, they didn't 'betray' their religion at all, because their religion wasn't based on the same premise that you are using ie, that there has to be a NT proof-text for everything.

The NT doesn't teach animal husbandry, metallurgy, motorcycle maintenance nor how to run a political state. So of course it's not going to teach that it's ok to execute heretics or unbelievers.

However, Charlemagne and other medieval rulers wouldn't have seen any inconsistency whatsoever in applying Romans 13:4 or OT 'types' such as Joshua and the conquest of Canaan to their contemporary application of polity.

Neither did the Pilgrim Fathers in New England, come to that. They justified the massacre of Pequod non-combatants in the 1630s by referring to the Book of Joshua.

Sure, I agree with you that state-sanctioned religious violence is wrong. But I agree with you precisely because my hermeneutic isn't a million miles from yours and that I'm a post-Enlightenment, 21st century Protestant Christian and not an 8th or 9th century medieval Catholic one.

Can't you see what I'm saying?

It's all very well and good waving post-Reformation assumptions around when we are dealing with pre-Reformation forms of Christianity that had a different hermeneutic.

That doesn't mean that Roman Catholics or Orthodox - non-Reformed / non-reformed Christians would all agree that Charlemagne was within his rights to execute those Saxons who refused to convert.

Heck, I've seen enough Orthodox people online denigrating Charlemagne and the medieval West for religious coercion whilst protesting (falsely) that the Christian East never went in for religious coercion or the execution of heretics ...

Some of these folk would cry blue murder about Charlemagne and the medieval Papacy but start making excuses / special pleading when it comes to Ivan The Terrible or some of the more draconian Byzantine Emperors.

We can all be selective that way.

The Pilgrim Fathers had a hermeneutic that was closer to yours but that didn't stop them killing Pequod non-combatants and then looking to the scriptures for justification.

Oliver Cromwell had a hermeneutic that was closer to yours - as well as an Independent ecclesiology to match - and that didn't stop him writing, 'God made them as stubble to our swords,' nor from justifying the massacre of the garrisons of Drogheda and Wexford plus priests and monks and anyone else who happened to get in the way - although the RC clergy present do seem to have been specifically targeted rather than victims of 'collateral damage.'

Would I be letting Cromwell off the hook by saying that what he did was consistent with the rules of warfare at that time ie that a garrison that continued to resist once the walls had been breached had effectively no 'right' to sue for quarter?

No, I wouldn't.

He expressed regret for the deaths of townspeople and non-combatants but took the pragmatic view that the slaughter - regrettable as it was - hastened the end of Royalist resistance in Ireland.

The dropping of Atomic Bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski were justified in a similar way closer to our time.

Saying that Charlemagne 'betrayed' his religion makes no sense whatsover - any more than that it makes sense for those fundagelical Protestants and ultra-conservative RCs and Orthodox I've come across who maintain that it's the jihadist Islamist terrorists who are closer to the teachings of the Quran than those moderate and 'apostate' Muslims who don't engage in jihad.

What's all that about?

They are setting themselves up as judge and jury not only on who is a 'proper' Christian but also on who is or isn't a 'proper' adherent of another faith.

They are not allowing room or space for there to be Muslims who see things in anything other than black-and-white Islamist terms.

Ok, I know you're not saying that - but it's something I hear a lot from the more conservative sections of both evangelicalism and traditional Roman Catholicism and the more hyperdox sections of Orthodoxy.

It would have made no more sense for Charlemagne to consider that his actions were inconsistent with scripture than it would to expect him to believe that the earth orbits the sun or that Australia existed.

You are taking your own hermeneutic, universalising it and applying it to people who lived centuries before that particular hermeneutic came into existence.

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
KC specifies the NT because Christ changed the rules regarding worship, obeying God and the necessity for observances.

Once again for those of impaired cognition and/or focus: Christianity doesn't exclude the OT from its practice or justifications, Jesus said he wasn't displacing it it is an active part of Christianity. One that cannot be waived away when inconvenient or switched on or off depending upon what one wishes to justify.

quote:

Ask any Jew if Christianity exists in the OT?
In the medieval period, the Catholic church and its popes

Cute, but the medieval church is your church unless you are orthodox.

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Jamat
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quote:
Once again for those of impaired cognition and/or focus
Gratuitous insults are suddenly permitted here?
Please be civil.

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Gamaliel
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@Lil Buddha, one of the things I have yet to whop cognitively impaired Orthodox over the head with - and I'm not referring to any Orthodoxen currently active on these boards - is the fact that as Charlemagne predates 1054 AD he is effectively part of 'their' Church too ...

So they can't distance themselves from Charlie that easily and pretend he's got nothing to do with them ...

It's a funny thing, but we can all be selective of course. The Orthodox are very quick to lay claim to all the pre-Schism Western Saints, but they are less quick (with justification) to acknowledge any linkage with Western figures of whom they disapprove ... such as Charlemagne ...

I don't begrudge them the Western Saints at all, not that it's within my 'gift' to determine whose Saints are whose ... but if they're going to have them then they also need to acknowledge (as many of them do, of course) that not everything pre-Schism was hunky-dory whether East, West or in the middle ...

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Once again for those of impaired cognition and/or focus
Gratuitous insults are suddenly permitted here?
Please be civil.

It is insulting to suggest a lack of focus? I have mentioned the inconsistency of application of the OT more than once and there has been no cogent response. Given it is directly relevant to to KC's statements, I thought, perhaps, others might have lost sight of it.

quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
@Lil Buddha, one of the things I have yet to whop cognitively impaired Orthodox over the head with - and I'm not referring to any Orthodoxen currently active on these boards - is the fact that as Charlemagne predates 1054 AD he is effectively part of 'their' Church too ...

Everyone's hands are bloody. It is a dodge to suggest "sins of the past" and/or a disconnect with particular people/groups when one's own uses similar reasoning to do things Jesus pretty evidently would disapprove of.

--------------------
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If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
@Lil Buddha, one of the things I have yet to whop cognitively impaired Orthodox over the head with - and I'm not referring to any Orthodoxen currently active on these boards - is the fact that as Charlemagne predates 1054 AD he is effectively part of 'their' Church too ...

So they can't distance themselves from Charlie that easily and pretend he's got nothing to do with them ...

Yes and no. Charlemagne was declared Roman Emperor when there already was a Roman emperor -- in an attempt to steal the center of empire away from the dynasty in Constantinople. It was a deliberate slap in the face to the Orthodox Church and the Byzantine court. That the Emperor happened to be an Empress at the time does not excuse the breach. The coronation of Charlemagne was an invitation to schism. That it took another 250 years before the breach was official is historical accident.

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Gamaliel
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Sure. Not even the apparently peaceful Buddhists are as peaceable as one might expect them to be.

I can't think of any Christian group that hasn't got something or other to be ashamed of, although obviously some Christian traditions have been less violent than others ...

Meanwhile, at the risk of a tangent, I've been wondering why and on what grounds Kaplan supposes his particular hermeneutic to be universal and binding and somehow operational from the outset ... only to be lost or set aside at some stage down the line.

Where does this idea come from?

How do we know that 1st century Christians apparently operated using a 16th century/post 16th century hermeneutic?

I see no evidence whatsover to suggest they did.

That doesn't legitimise Charlemagne's actions or jiggery-pokery carried out in the name of Big T Tradition or any of the small t traditions ...

But it seems a pretty big assumption to make.

I'm not saying I've never thought about it before, but this thread has set the issue in sharp relief.

Kaplan assumes that it's incontrovertible that the early Christians operated with broadly the same kind of hermeneutic as he does.

On what basis?

How can he prove that they did?

Just curious, that's all ...

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
@Lil Buddha, one of the things I have yet to whop cognitively impaired Orthodox over the head with - and I'm not referring to any Orthodoxen currently active on these boards - is the fact that as Charlemagne predates 1054 AD he is effectively part of 'their' Church too ...

So they can't distance themselves from Charlie that easily and pretend he's got nothing to do with them ...

Yes and no. Charlemagne was declared Roman Emperor when there already was a Roman emperor -- in an attempt to steal the center of empire away from the dynasty in Constantinople. It was a deliberate slap in the face to the Orthodox Church and the Byzantine court. That the Emperor happened to be an Empress at the time does not excuse the breach. The coronation of Charlemagne was an invitation to schism. That it took another 250 years before the breach was official is historical accident.
Ok, but as far as I am aware, the jurisdiction of Byzantine Emperors and Empresses didn't extend to what had been the Western Roman Empire, which collapsed after 476 AD.

Some of your Orthodox co-religionists can be rather anachronistic in that respect, I find.

Some, but not all, talk as if the indigenous in the British Isles were somehow officially part of one or t'other of the Patriarchates in the East, rather than churches that were temporarily disconnected from the Roman Patriarchate for a while.

Sure, the mission of St Augustine of Canterbury in 597 AD was partly intended to reconnect the indigenous British churches with Rome - and if Bede is to be believed, Augustine was quite arsey to the Welsh bishops ...

But St David of Wales is said to have made pilgrimage to Rome in the 5th/6th century and for all the Orthodox rhetoric about the lovely Anglo-Saxon Church being clobbered by the nasty Papacy and its Norman lackeys (and yes, the Normans booted out all but one I think of the pre-Conquest bishops), King Alfred spent time in Rome as a boy. He didn't spend time in Constantinople.

Don't get me wrong, I'd side with the Orthodox over against an over-weening Papacy (although I think some of the Athonite monks make the late Rev Ian Paisley look like the wishy-washiest of ecumenists) but at the same time I think they over-egg the pudding ...

Rightly or wrongly, Charlemagne tried to revive the Western Roman Empire - as the Holy Roman Empire which, as any schoolboy knows, has been described as 'neither holy, Roman nor an empire ...'

What should he have done instead? Sworn fealty to the Empress and submitted to Byzantine rule?

The Roman Empire had been in two parts for some time before its collapse in the West. It seems to be that some kind of separation was going to be inevitable sooner or later.

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Praise the Lord for He is kind.

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mousethief

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Most of the adherents of the "Orthodox Britain" fantasy put the moment that the dirty nasty stinking Papists clobbered the good wholesome righteous Orthodox at the Council of Whitby (664). And they will admit that the pro-Rome party was a growing faction (largely in the London/Canterbury sector) up till that time, but insist that the hinterlands were Orthodox.

It's not entirely a bunch of hooey, as there are some affinities there, especially in the monasteries. But it's predominantly hooey. There certainly was no ecclesial or even epistolary link.

It's an artifact of the people who talk about the capture of the Roman papacy by the northern Europeans (I forget the word they use as a synecdoche -- Goths? Visigoths? something.) Again there are bits of truth, but a whole lot more wishful thinking.

[ 11. July 2017, 19:46: Message edited by: mousethief ]

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mousethief

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Anent Charlemagne declaring himself HRE, it might have stung less in the Capital if he had included "Western" or "Latin" in there. Also if they hadn't explicitly said he was replacing Empress whatsername because she was a woman. On their own account they were claiming provenance over the East as well as the West.

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Gamaliel
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Sure. Although the seeds of later overweening Papacy were undoubtedly there, the Pope was to all intents and purposes the Western Patriarch at that time and as Orthodox as the other Patriarchs.

If I were RC at this stage I'd be pointing out the parallels between Orthodox and Protestant historical fantasy la-la land.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
Sure. Although the seeds of later overweening Papacy were undoubtedly there, the Pope was to all intents and purposes the Western Patriarch at that time and as Orthodox as the other Patriarchs.

If I were RC at this stage I'd be pointing out the parallels between Orthodox and Protestant historical fantasy la-la land.

Oh yes. The Catholics say the Orthodox were the first Protestants. The Orthodox say the Pope was the first Protestant. (I forget which one -- the first to claim provenance over all other patriarchs rather than primacy inter pares. Which was actually surprisingly early.)

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God has shown me that I should not call any man impure or unclean. --Acts 10:28

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Jane R
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And you're still protesting about it... does that mean we're *all* Protestants? [Two face]
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Jamat
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quote:
It is insulting to suggest a lack of focus? I have mentioned the inconsistency of application of the OT more than once and there has been no cogent response. Given it is directly relevant to to KC's statements, I thought, perhaps, others might have lost sight of it.
You did more than that with your insinuation..and you know it.
Your query re the application of the OT has been answered. You apparently do not understand the answer.
No one denies the OT use of force or uses it to justify 'Christian' medieval conquests. It is my position on this that such wars instigated by the medieval Catholic church are indefensible in Christian terms because nothing in the NT urges Christians to be militarily or politically active. The furthest it goes is that Christians need to remember the poor, wives and husbands should stay together, and slaves, if they have the opportunity to become free, should do so. There is no hermeneutic that could possibly allow a war of aggression and you have to work really hard to even justify self defence. Jesus admonished his followers to turn the other cheek and go 2 miles with the chap who could legally oblige them to go one.

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with Earth and ocean meets, the setting sun slowly descended, and with right aspect
Against the eastern gate of Paradise. (Milton Paradise Lost Bk iv)

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lilBuddha
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Wow. Swing and a miss.
Regarding violence, modern Christians use the Bible as justification for violence.
But my point was more broad than violence and it is difficult to credit that a reasonable functioning adult could miss it so many times.
Christians use the OT to justify multiple issues that don't appear to be supported by Jesus. Until they don't, dismissing other OT as a factor is not a valid argument.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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Jamat
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Wow. Swing and a miss.
Regarding violence, modern Christians use the Bible as justification for violence.
But my point was more broad than violence and it is difficult to credit that a reasonable functioning adult could miss it so many times.
Christians use the OT to justify multiple issues that don't appear to be supported by Jesus. Until they don't, dismissing other OT as a factor is not a valid argument.

You seem to like assertions of generalised ignorance.
Yes, the OT is relevant to Christianity which is light years from saying Christians endorse acts of political aggression. You probably are incapable of linking something 'christians' justify from the OT to a justification of a war of aggression but have go if you think you can.

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Nick Tamen

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Wow. Swing and a miss.
Regarding violence, modern Christians use the Bible as justification for violence.
But my point was more broad than violence and it is difficult to credit that a reasonable functioning adult could miss it so many times.
Christians use the OT to justify multiple issues that don't appear to be supported by Jesus. Until they don't, dismissing other OT as a factor is not a valid argument.

You seem to like assertions of generalised ignorance.
Yes, the OT is relevant to Christianity which is light years from saying Christians endorse acts of political aggression. You probably are incapable of linking something 'christians' justify from the OT to a justification of a war of aggression but have go if you think you can.

This is sounding a lot like a No True Scotsman argument. It seems pretty undeniable that many Christians throughout history have endorsed wars of aggression and other acts of violence, and they have cited the OT and the NT to justify that violence. So the answer is that they were not True Christians?

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The first thing God says to Moses is, "Take off your shoes." We are on holy ground. Hard to believe, but the truest thing I know. — Anne Lamott

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lilBuddha
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
You seem to like assertions of generalised ignorance.

Need to work with the audience I have, not the audience I want.
quote:

Yes, the OT is relevant to Christianity which is light years from saying Christians endorse acts of political aggression. You probably are incapable of linking something 'christians' justify from the OT to a justification of a war of aggression but have go if you think you can.

I don't need to, it has been so used since at least the 4th century. I'm not saying it should be used this way, but it has consistently over Christianity's history.
And again you miss the broader point. Christians use the OT to justify their prejudices. Look in Dead Horses if you doubt. I'll need to go and look, but I'm fairly certain you have made arguments doing this very thing.

--------------------
So goodnight moon, I want the sun
If it's not here soon, I might be done
No it won't be too soon 'til I say goodnight moon

- A. N. Parsley, D. Mcvinni

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
You seem to like assertions of generalised ignorance.
Yes, the OT is relevant to Christianity which is light years from saying Christians endorse acts of political aggression. You probably are incapable of linking something 'christians' justify from the OT to a justification of a war of aggression but have go if you think you can.

The curious part of this argument is that the NT says nothing about creationism or other DH arguments - and yet you persist in making them as if the OT is ultimately authoritative.

I put it to you that you've got a self-selecting group of ideas from the OT you think are authoritative and another group you think are not relevant.

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Martin60
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quote:
Originally posted by Nick Tamen:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
Wow. Swing and a miss.
Regarding violence, modern Christians use the Bible as justification for violence.
But my point was more broad than violence and it is difficult to credit that a reasonable functioning adult could miss it so many times.
Christians use the OT to justify multiple issues that don't appear to be supported by Jesus. Until they don't, dismissing other OT as a factor is not a valid argument.

You seem to like assertions of generalised ignorance.
Yes, the OT is relevant to Christianity which is light years from saying Christians endorse acts of political aggression. You probably are incapable of linking something 'christians' justify from the OT to a justification of a war of aggression but have go if you think you can.

This is sounding a lot like a No True Scotsman argument. It seems pretty undeniable that many Christians throughout history have endorsed wars of aggression and other acts of violence, and they have cited the OT and the NT to justify that violence. So the answer is that they were not True Christians?
Da DAH! Jamat is the only true one.

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Gamaliel
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And however we cut it, we are all selective and our responses are influenced and conditioned by whatever Christian tradition / Tradition has influenced us the most.

So Orthodox Christians will tut-tut about Charlemagne but may resort to special-pleading when it comes to Ivan the Terrible (although I know plenty who think Ivan was a psychopath ...)

So evangelical or Reformed Protestants may fulminate against the violence used by the RC Spanish Conquistadores and um and ah and try to wriggle out of acknowledging the religious violence deployed by the Puritans in New England ... (Although many of course would readily acknowledge that too).

And there are gradations and shades along each of those spectrums (spectra?) ...

It's exactly the same when it comes to hermeneutics.

We each of us imagine our own to be the default one. Which is the point I've been trying to make to Kaplan and which seems to have 'flabbergasted' him.

I'm just as flabbergasted that he doesn't appear to realise that he's making a whole set of assumptions and presuppositions about how people 'should' approach and interpret the scriptures ie. the way he does - without taking into account the way previous generations handled these issues - ie. differently to him.

Or at least, whilst he acknowledges that he doesn't seem to realise / accept that things have never been the way he thinks they should have been.

If I'm doing him an injustice then he can correct me.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by mr cheesy:
If you read the gospels in the light of Joshua

If you read the NT in the light of the OT , then you have the precise opposite of what Christianity consists of.

{QUOTE]It's a viable hermeneutic. Just saying you don't like it doesn't make it disappear in a puff of logic.[/QUOTE]

It's a crap hermeneutic, and it has nothing to do one way or the other with whether or not I like it.

What's more, your argument is not only crap, but hypocritical, because you yourself admit that such a hermeneutic is invalid.

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mr cheesy
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Sigh. This is so dull, constantly repeating your inane position doesn't make it interesting.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by lilBuddha:
dismissing other OT as a factor

No-one is dismissing the OT as a factor.

Christianity involves interpreting the OT in the light of the NT.

So, for example, "thou shalt not steal" remains valid because it is supported by the NT, and the sacrificial system of the Tabernacle and Temple is rendered obsolete because the NT teaches that it has been fulfilled and superseded by Christ.

It's not rocket surgery.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
It's exactly the same when it comes to hermeneutics.

We each of us imagine our own to be the default one.

We (you and I and Mr Cheesy and all contemporary Christians with even minimal theological awareness), don't merely "imagine" but know that much of the exegesis and hermeneutics in church history was shonky.

I challenge you to look me in the eye and state without a blush that you honestly believe that Augustine's allegorisation of a parable such as the Good Samaritan, or (and I have actually come across this) the teaching that the four anchors of Acts 27:29 represent prayer, Bible-reading, church fellowship, and I forget the fourth, which stabilise the ship of the Christian life, are, on the relativistic grounds that any interpretation is as good as another, as good an exposition of those passages (because the people who invented them thought so at the time) as the exposition of them by any recognised Bible scholar.

You can't do it, because you know that it is anti-intellectual obscurantism - not to say, bullshit.

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Kaplan Corday
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quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
the Holy Roman Empire which, as any schoolboy knows, has been described as 'neither holy, Roman nor an empire ...'

I fear that about as many schoolboys know Voltaire's opinion of the HRE today, as knew "who imprisoned Montezuma and who strangled Atahualpa" in Macaulay's day.

Ichabod, Ichabod...O tempora, O mores.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:


It's not rocket surgery.

How exactly you understand the bible is, by necessity, open to interpretation. Different people look and see different things within it.

It absolutely isn't the case that there is a single "good" hermeneutic and everything else can be dismissed as crap.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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mr cheesy
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
We (you and I and Mr Cheesy and all contemporary Christians with even minimal theological awareness), don't merely "imagine" but know that much of the exegesis and hermeneutics in church history was shonky.

You don't seem to appreciate the difference between something which is wrong and something which is valid.

quote:
I challenge you to look me in the eye and state without a blush that you honestly believe that Augustine's allegorisation of a parable such as the Good Samaritan, or (and I have actually come across this) the teaching that the four anchors of Acts 27:29 represent prayer, Bible-reading, church fellowship, and I forget the fourth, which stabilise the ship of the Christian life, are, on the relativistic grounds that any interpretation is as good as another, as good an exposition of those passages (because the people who invented them thought so at the time) as the exposition of them by any recognised Bible scholar.
Can you stop doing this, please. Nobody is talking about relativism. Nobody is saying that all theologies based on the bible are as good as each other.

Until you actually understand what the words mean that you are using, it is impossible to discuss this with you.

quote:
You can't do it, because you know that it is anti-intellectual obscurantism - not to say, bullshit.
A Christian theology which supports state violence is valid. It is also, in my opinion, quite wrong.

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my new book: Biblical But Bollocks. Available in all good bookshops.

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Gamaliel
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quote:
Originally posted by Kaplan Corday:
quote:
Originally posted by Gamaliel:
the Holy Roman Empire which, as any schoolboy knows, has been described as 'neither holy, Roman nor an empire ...'

I fear that about as many schoolboys know Voltaire's opinion of the HRE today, as knew "who imprisoned Montezuma and who strangled Atahualpa" in Macaulay's day.

Ichabod, Ichabod...O tempora, O mores.

I'd imagine that some of them are able to read for comprehension though, which is more than you seem able to do ...

[Razz]

Listen, it's not a case of my looking you in the eye and trying to convince you of the validity or otherwise of Augustine's overly allegorical interpretation of scripture - a charge I'd also level at some of the Plymouth Brethren to be frank for the way they 'spiritualised' the Parable of the Good Samaritan, The Sheep and The Goats and lots of other things besides, but no matter ...

Rather, it's a case of my looking you in the eye and asking you to demonstrate why you feel your particular hermeneutic applies equally to everyone at all times and in all places when it clearly isn't the only single, valid way to approach these issues?

You say it's not about personal preference and put as crudely as that, I'd agree ...

But we're not talking about things in those crude terms.

At least, I'm not.

You're beginning to sound as binary as Jamat and that's saying something.

--------------------
Let us with a gladsome mind
Praise the Lord for He is kind.

http://philthebard.blogspot.com

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